Cross Cultural Communication | Pellegrino Riccardi | TEDx
My first name, Pellegrino, means 'pilgrim'. It was given to me by my Italian parents. It is as if they knew what I was going to do for the rest of my life. “Let’s give him the name ‘pilgrim’, and then he’ll travel the world.” That’s basically what I did. This is my workplace. I do a lot of travelling.
What is a pilgrim? Choose 1 answer
- A person who goes on a short journey to nearby place
- A person who loves to travel for fun
- A person who goes on a long journey, usually to a foreign country
- A person who travels just for work
I can give you a fancy title of what I do, but what I really do is I try to help people communicate better, especially in the global business world. So I try to help people communicate better with other nationalities. You know, the first thing you think of when you work with other nationalities and cross-cultural communication, is “Let’s look at the other cultures.” Well I take a slightly different approach. I say to people, “Take a look at yourself.”
2. What do you think “take a look at yourself” means? Choose 1 answer
- Know what are your own opinions
- Consider your own culture
- Think about your own beliefs
- Answers A, B, & C
So I am going to talk a lot about perception, because it’s all about perception and understanding what people see. As you see, I have Italian in me, I have a lot of British in me. Some people are often surprised by my English accent, it’s quite nice, isn’t it? Because you weren’t expecting this, I know, you were expecting me to speak with an Italian accent. I don’t speak like that.
3. Which does not describe what an accent is? Choose 2 answers
- A way of pronouncing a language
- A way of speaking that special to a country, city, or neighborhood
- A dialect
- A language
Now as I said, I travel a lot, so I like playing with the airlines. I like going up to the airlines and talk in an English accent, or sometimes talk with an Italian accent, to see what kind of reactions I get. And English is the best one. If you want a good service, you speak English like I do. It’s fantastic. People take you seriously.
4. Why do people take him more seriously when he speaks with an English accent?
- British people are known for their sophistication, manners, and politeness
- British people are known to be smarter and better educated than everyone else
I mean, yesterday, the plane to Bergen was late. If I go up and say, “Excuse me, it’s 30 minutes late, I’m a punctual person, I don’t like being late,” they just take you seriously. But yesterday I thought I’d try speaking in an Italian accent.
So I went up, and I actually said, “Excuse me, but the plane is 30 minutes late, I’m a punctual person, you know.” (the crowd laughs) Exactly! I got the same reaction as you did there.
5. Why did the crowd laugh when he said, “ Excuse me, but the plane is 30 minutes late, I’m a punctual person, you know?” in an Italian accent?
- Italians are known to be punctual, on time, and early for appointments
- Italians are known to be “fashionably late” for appointments
6. What does this mean?
This is one of the problems when working with other nationalities: people see what they want to see, they don’t always see what you see. And this is one of the challenges.
- When working with people from other nationalities, people rely on stereotypes and common beliefs about the foreigner’s culture
- When working with people from other nationalities, people keep in open mind and do not rely on stereotypes and common beliefs about the foreigner’s culture
7. According to this speaker, what is “culture”? Choose 1 answer
- It is normal and comfortable tradition
- It is accepted and familiar behavior
My definition of culture, and I know this doesn’t cover everything, but let’s keep it simple. I usually do two day workshops on this, I’ve got 18 minutes — “a system of behavior that helps us act in an accepted or familiar way”. Keyword there: accepted or familiar. We’re basically doing things which are accepted in our social group and which are familiar.
1. What does it mean to first "take a look at yourself" when you're observing others, maybe of foreign cultures?
2. Airplane Accents: How was he treated differently when he used an English accent versus an Italian accent? What are the streoptypes of "being on time" in the UK versus Italy?
3. What do you think about his definition of culture being behaviour that is accepted and familiar?
4. When queing in a line, what does it mean to be "first come, first serve"? How are waiting lines forms in your country?
5. What does "underlying values" mean?
6. How does he describe Singapore Airlines and what his hierarchy?
7. Why is curiousity a coping mechanism?
8. Eating & Talking: what does he say about Finns, Italians, and Nordics? What are your country's eating & talking norms like?
9. What is "economy of language" in the Nordic sense?
10. What does it mean to percieve, and what is misperception of others?
11. Emotions & Talking: What does he say about Norway and Italy?
12. Driving: describe how he explains driving in France, Norway and India
13. What did he mean by "power of persuasion" in Italy?
14. Parking in Norway: what does "out of the box" thinking mean when he describes taking off the wheel to fit inside a parking space?
15. What did he say about parking in Italy and the fines being 30 and 40 Euros?
16. What 3 cultures did the speaker say he has inside of him?
17. What did he mean by "extending your borders" and creating new cultures, instead of barriers?